Well, we got outbid. The other couple came back with a higher offer. We are suspecting that it was their list price, plus an agreement that they didn't have to do anything like new paint, new carpet, tree removal, etc. We called them yesterday evening when we hadn't heard from them, and they told us they'd accepted the other offer, and that it was higher. They didn't give us a chance to make a counter offer, but it wouldn't have mattered. We couldn't have offered their list price, and it wouldn't have been wise to do so.
I have had a wild swing of emotions. Initially, there was anger, disbelief, sadness, acceptance, stony, coldblooded resolve to become a more hardened person, etc. You have to get at least a bit emotionally attached to a place in order to make an offer on it. That's just the way it is for most people. You have to imagine where your furniture would go and how you would live in the space. I wouldn't want to go through this over and over again. There is no lasting damage, but its been a roller coaster weekend, and I don't want to have many of these. I'm just glad it all happened in about 28 hours instead of over weeks. =)
Sometimes its hard for me to accept that Americans are mostly about cold, hard cash. I am included in this, of course, but I like to think that I have my exceptions. =) I was hoping that this couple would give us a break over a few thousand dollars. In my estimation, from getting to know their background and how much they paid for the house years ago, I thought that they could afford not to be persnickety, and they might be willing to help out a nice, young family on one income. I'd heard stories of people doing that. I was hopeful it could happen in our case... within reason, of course. I had visions of them saying, "Well, the other couple offered us a few thousand more, but David and Ellen are just so sweet." I know, spare you my fantasies, right? =) Nope, it's all about the bottom line, people. I'm learning as I go, and I guess I just learned a valuable lesson.
I am also learning to hold things loosely. I am very thankful that I can let this go with this little pain. I think we would've been very happy there, but we are also happy here. I am hopeful. I wasn't at first. At first, I had a temper tantrum and got really angry because I really wanted to live in this neighborhood, and we can't afford most of the houses in it I've seen listed, and woe is me, we'll never find anything really desirable we can afford here, and we'll have to give up and move out to Timbuktu, etc., etc.. You have to imagine this with wild gesticulating and yelling interspersed to get the full picture.
I'm actually a little relieved to be so clearheaded after a night's sleep. Honestly, I think that the other couple offered more for this house than it's really worth. We know the tax value, and the couple also told us what it was appraised for. The buyers may have trouble getting financing for that amount based on the appraisal. I dislike anyone trying to get me to overpay for a box of cake mix, much less an expensive piece of real estate. We're not overpaying. We will move on.
God is in control. If he wanted us to get this house, we would've. We would've come along last week before they had another bidder. There is a reason for this. I would like to know all the reasons we were subjected to this exercise in futility. I may not ever know all of them, but I can speculate at a few.
We know more about the bidding process now. We've seen it in action, its been demystified, and we can see what we need to do and not do to be competitive. I've found a house I can love, and I know what that feels like. I also know that I can walk away and be ok. We know now how to look at tax values and comparable sales online. We know what kind of realtor we want or don't want in the future, and we know the terms we're willing to agree to with a realtor. I am more willing to sit patiently and wait for the neighborhoods and locations I'm most interested in, barring a directive from God to look elsewhere. We have increased confidence in our gut feelings about houses. We apparently have similar taste to other people, so we won't end up buying a "beautiful" house that everyone else thinks is dog ugly. =)
This was a good learning experience overall. And we had a great time with the family this weekend. We're good. I will survive.... =)